Taliban Acknowledges Death of Leader Mullah Omar


Originally posted on TIME:

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — The Afghan Taliban have released a statement purportedly from the family of Mullah Omar saying he has died of an unspecified illness.

The statement, emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday, didn’t say when he died.

It followed an announcement from the Kabul government the day before. Senior Taliban figures have also told the AP that Mullah Omar died.

The statement says it’s being issued in the name of Mullah Omar’s brother, Mullah Abdul Manan, and his son, Mohammad Yaqub. It apologizes for “any mistakes Mullah Omar (made) during his rule of Afghanistan.” It also asks all Afghans and Muslims to forgive any mistakes Mullah Omar made as leader of the Taliban.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until they were overthrown in a U.S-led invasion in 2001.

[newsletter-the-brief]

Read next: How the Death of Mullah Omar Could Disrupt Progress in Afghanistan

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An Expert Says Our Search Strategy Will Need Overhauling If the Réunion Debris Is From MH370


Originally posted on TIME:

On Friday, a group of French officials boarded a 12-hour flight to Paris from Réunion, a volcanic island and French territory in the southwest Indian Ocean. With them was a 9-ft.-by-3-ft. piece of flotsam many believe is a wing-flap from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

It was the unremarkable final stretch on what may turn out to be the wing-flap’s remarkable journey—if indeed it is a wing-flap, and if it turns out to have actually come from MH370. Sources in Boeing have told CNN they are ”confident” the flotsam was part of a Boeing 777, and experts have little doubt the part came from the doomed jetliner. That would mean this debris could have been drifting on ocean currents for more than 500 days for some 2,500 miles, or the equivalent to driving…

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Pakistan Stays Death Sentence of Christian Woman Convicted of Blasphemy


Originally posted on TIME:

Pakistan’s Supreme Court said Wednesday it would hear an appeal from Aasia Noreen, popularly known as Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul-Malook said the court had stayed her death sentence until the appeal, Reuters reported.

“The execution of Asia Bibi has been suspended and will remain suspended until the decision of this appeal,” Malook said, adding that a date for her execution had not previously been set.

Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 under Pakistan’s highly opaque and contentious blasphemy law, over an argument with a group of women who refused to drink the water she offered them because her status as a Christian made it “unclean.” The Muslim-majority country does not explicitly define blasphemy but stipulates the death penalty for acts deemed as such, leading to several instances of what activists say is manipulation of the law to settle personal scores…

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Egypt: Persecution News Update


The link below is to an article reporting on persecution news from Egypt.

For more visit:
http://www.madamasr.com/news/3-christians-detained-distributing-dates-saying-lord-loves-you-0

Sri Lanka: Persecution News Update


The link below is to an article reporting on persecution news from Sri Lanka.

For more visit:
http://colombogazette.com/2015/07/16/uk-notes-improvements-but-has-concerns/

Indonesia: Persecution News Update


The link below is to an article reporting on persecution news from Indonesia.

For more visit:
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/07/14/yogya-sees-conflicts-over-houses-worship-rise.html

Nigeria: Persecution & Boko Haram News Update


The links below are to articles reporting on persecution and Boko Haram news from Nigeria (the most recent are at the top).

For more visit:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/07/blasts-rock-market-northern-nigeria-150716174203845.html
http://www.persecution.org/2015/07/17/nigerias-boko-haram-crisis-eid-prayer-blasts-hit-damaturu/
http://www.dw.com/en/buhari-facing-deepening-boko-haram-threat/a-18583218
http://www.businessinsider.com/r-boko-haram-raid-villages-in-nigerias-borno-state-killing-12-2015-7
http://sunnewsonline.com/new/254-killed-in-biromfulani-clash-in-plateau-can-chairman/
http://news.yahoo.com/dozens-killed-boko-haram-raids-ne-nigeria-villages-114800610.html

Sudan: Persecution News Update


The links below are to articles reporting on persecution news from Sudan.

For more visit:
http://www.persecution.org/2015/07/15/defense-refutes-evidence-in-death-penalty-case-of-pastors-in-sudan/
http://www.religionnews.com/2015/07/13/sudan-detains-10-women-wearing-miniskirts-trousers-church/

Nepal: Persecution News Update


The links below are to articles reporting on persecution news from Nepal.

For more visit:
http://catholicphilly.com/2015/07/news/world-news/nepals-new-constitution-in-making-should-be-secular-church-urges/
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/anti.conversion.laws.threaten.religious.freedom.in.nepal/58906.htm

Nigeria: Persecution News Update


The links below are to articles reporting on persecution news from Nigeria (the most recent are at the top).

For more visit:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/13/us-nigeria-insurgency-attacks-idUSKCN0PN2LC20150713
https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2015/07/3924562
http://www.informationng.com/2015/07/fulani-herdsmen-kill-4-in-fresh-taraba-attack.html
http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Explosives-found-at-church-in-Jos-Nigeria-20150712